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International travel with small infant - NEED ADVICE!

  1. #9
    zozorro is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Hong Kong

    Do request for ground assistance from the airline. They will have their ground staff meet you at the checkin counter, help you through immigration, security and all the way till you board the aircraft. Upon landing in destination, there should be a ground staff to help you disembark the aircraft, clear immigration, retrieve baggage etc. till you are out of the airport. I requested for one when I travelled with my then 2.5 months old to Singapore on CX and it was so much easier especially when clearing immigration and security where you can beat the long queue cause they usually have this separate channel for assisted passenger. CX should have the same assistance service for NYC flight.

  2. #10
    Newbie_hk is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2010

    All very good tips above & not much to add except:

    1)If you are using a sling/carrier/baby Bjorn, be prepared to remove & put it through the X-ray machine just in case they ask you. They don't do it all the time but I was once asked to put the carrier through the X-ray even though I protested that my baby would wake up. They didn't care.

    2) Bring some duct tape to tape a thin cloth/wrap on the wall & make a canopy over the bassinet. The bassinets are usually near the toilets & people keep peering over your sleeping baby so it gives a bit of privacy. Also, you can "dim" the lights a bit to help your baby sleep. I saw this tip a few times on the net & couldn't appreciate the use until I saw how handy it was. Don't bring a roll , they might confiscate it. Just a few strips.

  3. #11
    evgreen is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Tai Tam

    Thanks so much for all these tips. Experience really is invaluable! I will definitely try requesting for ground assistance. I didn't actually know you could take the stroller into the cabin. Funny how they let you go thru security without taking baby out of the stroller but not with the sling. I'm actually very excited about traveling with baby and I'm feeling less anxious about it now knowing some of these tricks.

  4. #12
    evgreen is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Tai Tam
    Quote Originally Posted by CMD View Post
    By the way, where are you headed to in CT?? I grew up in CT. Enjoy the winter (although it has been unseasonably cold)!

    Happy travels!
    My husband is from the west Hartford area. I personally love new England anytime of year and I'm hoping for some snow so we can get some skiing in (we're going to a wedding in Vermont also).

    My baby still hasn't seemed to get used to sitting in a carseat, so I'm actually more nervous about the road trip than the flight now. While most babies fall asleep during car rides, my little girl is wide awake and calm for the first 20-30 min before having a major meltdown. Eventually she cries herself to sleep which is not really ideal. Hopefully she will be too tired by the time we get to NYC to put up much of a fight.

  5. #13
    southside852 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2008

    Like many have said above - you'll be fine! We have flown CX a bunch of times to NYC and overall they've been great. When I fly (even when my kids were 3 months), I always brought our Maclaren stroller and our Ergo. I think it's a personal choice.

    Here's my advice:

    1) When I travel alone with my kids, I always ask for "meet and assist." This means, someone comes to help me from right when I check in to when I board. THey help carry my bags, while I push my stroller, help me go through security etc...I get to board early as well whcih is great when I've got 2 bags with tons of things in them. When I land, there's also someone there to help me and the last time I did it, I cut immigration entirely with BA (that's who their partner is in the US) and went through the diplomat line - perfect when you've just had 17 hour flight.

    2) If you are wearing your bjorn which I highly recommend for 3 months year old, practice wearing it with the baby and going to the bathroom. Sometimes the flight attendants do not like watching your child b/c it's a liability for them.

    3) make sure your bring enough diapers then add 4 extras

    4) bring 2-3 changes of clothing for your baby and an extra top for yourself.

    hope this helps and don't worry - it will be fine!

    Last edited by southside852; 01-14-2012 at 06:19 AM.

  6. #14
    blessed is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    hong kong

    you would be fine and comments above pretty much cover all... i think you just have to be prepared to be tired for the first few days after you arrive. with combination of nursing and white noise young babies usually do pretty well on flights, ours did, but when we travel with him now at 15-months it's another story!

    wish i've known about ground assistance which would be helpful on the flights i took when my husband was not travelling along, esp for the trip to LA. we have been on 6 trips with our son since 5 months and half of those with only me & the little one. i thought it's only available for kids travelling without parents as well as elderlies since we always requested that for our grannies, as i went through that myself when young going to visit the grannies... i always pay for porter service though, coz it's just easier with dealing with the luggage until we get picked up, even people around would usually help.

    our experience through security check and custom are usually positive, hong kong airport even has family with kids line now from our recent Christmas trip! i always prefer to check in the stroller and keep my carry on items light (my usual baby bag or a rollie luggage) so it's easy to go through security check with baby in the carrier. the only time i had to take him out of the baby carrier was in LA airport, had to put the carrier through the screening machine along with my bags, shoes etc so it was not fun travelling by myself that time without assistance, but all other i pass through the security check with him on me without issues.

    about the stroller, you can wheel it all the way to the boarding gate, where they will give you a plastic bag for the stroller and take it from there and will store all strollers at the luggage area during the flight, the stroller should be waiting for you at the gate when you land. it's really personal choice here depending what your baby is more used to on taking the stroller to the gate or using a baby carrier on board. we use a bugaboo bee+ which has a good padded trasport bag that i prefer to check in as an additional piece of luggage, and not having to worry about our stroller being damaged.

    and since you are breastfeeding, make sure you drink lots of water and keep yourself hydrated... i always bring along a water bottle for myself (it's ok to bring liquid on board / through security check if you are travelling with babies under 2, in all airports which i've passed in asia, canada and the states).

    the flight is indeed much easier then the ground transfer portion, you mentioned your baby is not used to sleeping in car seat, are you planning to bring your own or your family will provide one in the car when they pick u up? for our first trip back to Canada we just borrowed one wherever we were, thinking that since our son usually sleeps well in our car in his maxicosi, there shouldn't be any major issue. however as the make and style can be quite different, he wasn't a happy rider in some of those and he had a meltdown in one of the longer drive from Vancouver down to Seattle which was not fun.

    in addition to his favorite toys, blanket etc, do bring along his favorite CD for music on the car rides, and be prepared to make pit stops at various gas stations, family restaurants or event on the side of the highway along the way, we find fresh air always helped... and be prepared that the usually 3 hour drive can be 4-5 hours...

    one more think i wanna add about being tired for the first few days is dealing with jetlag. somehow our then 5 month son was jetlag during our first long haul trip back to Toronto (same time zone as New York). he is a good sleeper and was sleeping through the night since 3 month, but was waking up every 2 to 3 hours at night and wide awake since 4 or 5 in the morning while we were in toronto, took about 4 days to readjust so we did lots of early morning walk and i must say mommie was really tired! but again we were visiting our grannies in their 90's so they couldn't be of much help, it will be a better situation if you have family to take care of the baby for a bit during the day while you catch up with some sleep it will be a much better story...

    good luck and enjoy new england!

  7. #15
    bonita is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2009

    Put diapers & wipes in a pack. Take that pack out when you board the plane & stow away your carry-on bag. If you have bunkhead seat with bassinet, then your bag will have to go above. So having diapers out ahead will be handy.
    Also, bring some plastic bags with you for wet diapers or dirty clothes.
    I like bringing a sarong for lining the bassinet or for warmth or for nursing or for creating a canopy over the bassinet.

  8. #16
    Liquorice is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Hong Kong

    One other thing, Cathay don't prioritise passengers with children for bassinet seats.

    When we flew back from the UK at Christmas we had been told there were no bassinets available. We listed for one, for months, in case one became available but they never did, so we faced the miserable return journey having to try and have our baby sleep on us.

    Anyway, on boarding the plane it became evident that the two men in the bassinet seats didn't have children. Also, they wouldn't swap seats with us. To be honest we were pretty mad about it. Cathay said there was nothing they could do now that the plane had been boarded but that if we had taken it up with them at check-in they would have tried to shift people around.

    We had just assumed that "the bassinets are all taken" meant by other people who needed them, not by people who could quite happily sit anywhere else on the plane. So if the same happens to you, I recommend you find out whether they are actually taken by people who need the bassinet, and if not, kick up a stink about it.

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